In early November I blogged on the relationship of Hadleigh High School with its neighbours. (See: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?). Today the neighbouring residents got their day in front of Babergh’s Development Committee to challenge the erection of an amenity light. The specific proposal was to retain one amenity light which was located on one of the columns which also carried one of the permitted floodlights. The amenity light to be retained overlooked the path from the school and car parking areas rather than the MUGA itself (Multi Use Games Area). Well, it was an interesting experience. First the Council’s own documentation contained errors – so much so that they recognised that there may have been invalidities. Additionally, the recommendation to the Committee referred to Lister Road as Lister Lane (according to Google to be found in Halifax and Bradford). The nearest property in Station Road is 50 metres from the light not 85.
The applicant had stated that the light was required to access the MUGA in a safe manner. However you do not need a 12 m high light for safety purposes unless you are running a lorry car park or similar. The Council officials pronounced MUGA as MUGGA. Which is just how the residents felt – mugged. The object in challenging the application was so that some of the previous decisions could be amended to correct past mistakes and unintended consequences. The Committee approved the application without giving the residents what they needed and ignored their entitlement to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions. From my point of view – it was a sad day for justifying the democratic process. And a sad day for the residents.